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Tag : inspiration

“There I go, rising.” ~Maya Angelou

  I can’t honor Maya Angelou. I don’t have the right words.   What are the right words to honor someone who has found immortality?   It’s a rare thing to have, to be able to touch people that survive you. It’s a gift, a talent, one that Maya Angelou multiplied tenfold during her years […]

Lisa the Wizard

Lisa the Wizard

There I was, staring at a newly “balded” me in the mirror.   I had big chopped in a fit of frustration and had immediately regretted the results. Not only did I have barely an inch of hair now, but also that inch was made up of three completely different textures; 4c on the sides, […]

To the little kink-haired girl.

To the little kink-haired girl.

Little kink haired girl, you inspire me.   Sitting with your texturally diverse friends while wearing your puffs and braids with casual confidence makes me feel so proud. I know that you just think that your barrettes are pretty and that you hate sitting still while Mommy does your hair, but to me, your indifference […]

You are Lupita.

You are Lupita.

Lupita Nyong’o almost wasn’t. In the past few months Lupita Nyong’o has taken the world by whirlwind storm with her grace, beauty, talent, and sincerity. She takes her pictures with a soft smile and a calm serenity, all the while totally killing a self-selected couture number (the girl has impeccable taste, yo). Every time she […]

Talkin’ Knotty with Tanika Ray

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Looking at Tanika Ray’s lush mane, one would never guess that there were a couple bumps in the road before she became a Curly Hair Queen. Tanika, who has rocked her curly fro and been a source of hair envy for as long as I can remember, does not recount it that way. She chatted* with Kiss My Curls about her hair journey, her career, and why she is proud to be a part of the natural hair community.

Tanika wore her natural texture up until middle school, when her mother convinced her to relax her hair. “I’m an LA girl, so it was very wash and go”, she remembers. Though she never fully relaxed her hair, Tanika did start mildly relaxing her edges by her mom’s hairstylist who insisted on a touch-up about 4 times a year. She recalls wearing her hair this way thru her years at Spelman College and her early 20s. Then Tanika, whose hair had grown 3/4 down her back officially did the “Big Chop”. “I went through a cleansing, a sort of hair purge,” she tells me. This left Tanika with what she describes as a “short, spikey do”.
After rocking it like this for a while, Tanika officially grew tired of the relaxer and went back to her natural curls.
thumbnail “It was refreshing!” She recounts. But not everyone in her life felt the same way. Her agent flipped out, telling her that she would “never work again.” Tough words for an emerging entertainment personality to hear, but her agent couldn’t have been more wrong. “My career literately took off afterwards! Maybe it was a coincidence, or maybe it was the hair, but I know that suddenly I started getting a lot of calls and making appearances everywhere.”
Aside from the career burst, Tanika loves being a part of the natural hair community. “I was never in a sorority…but there is just something about being a part of a group of women who choose to wear their hair the way God made it, and rock it like a crown.” The natural hair community is indeed a proud one and Tanika is no exception. “I love my hair!” She exclaims. “I believe that it fully expresses my personality, more than any other hairstyle I’ve ever worn.”
If you are struggling with your natural hair and don’t have the nerve to take the plunge, Tanika has advice for you. “You have to find the confidence! And you have to make the decision for you. Don’t just do it because of pressure, or because it is a trend, do it for you! The way you will feel afterwards will be so worth it.”
So how does Tanika maintain her gorgeous mane? “I’ve adopted a new practice, I NEVER comb my hair outside of the shower. I load it with conditioner, detangle in the shower, and don’t touch it with a comb again until after I get out.” Once out of the shower, Tanika treats her hair only with products that moisturize. She avoids alcohol-based potions that leave her hair crunchy and stiff, at all cost. Her mantra’s simple, “Your hair is queen, respect it.”

 

We at Knotty & Nice could not agree more.

 

Check out Tanika’s blog www.mindbodycasa.com and follow her on
Twitter @TanikaRay.

 

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*answers may be paraphrased

Talkin’ Knotty with Erykah Badu: A Super Natural

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On a warm spring night after performing to a jam packed arena of her biggest Birmingham supporters, the Queen of Neo Soul lounges on a sofa in her hotel room. At a dining room table not far off, her body guard and agent have struck up a candid conversation. Like an old girlfriend, Erykah Badu excitedly directs us to sit with her on her sofa and easy chairs. She munches contentedly on a tray bearing bunches of red and green grapes, slices of granny smiths and huge strawberries while waiting for us to start our interview.
An impromptu interview at that. A chance meeting at the lobby’s front desk, led to an animated conversation about natural hair, which was followed by us joining her entourage, getting jealous looks from star struck observers and now, sitting in her hotel room trying all but in vain to stay professional.
Our camera has spazzed under the pressure, so I pull out my phone and fidget nervously for the camcorder.
Ms. Badu is on the sofa. Candace is perched and thrilled beside her. My camera chimes that it’s recording.
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Curlologists: Thank you for interviewing with us! So, I have never seen you with your hair straight. You seem to have embraced your natural hair even when pop culture wasn’t. What were the reasons behind that?
Erykah Badu: My hair is an aesthetic choice. And I don’t feel I have an obligation to wear it one way or the other but to health for myself.  And to me it’s healthier to, I guess, be as natural as you can in your most natural state.  At the same time, how you wear your hair is a political statement as well. Pretty much everything you do as a black woman is a political statement. I don’t feel like it’s a responsibility or anything cause at that point I’d be putting myself into a penitentiary and that wouldn’t be a natural state!  So the most natural thing to me is to stay as pure to or real to or close to who I am as possible.
C: So I know you know about the natural hair movement that’s sweeping the nation. What are your thoughts behind that if any?
EB: Not at this point. I really don’t [think] a lot about how people wear their hair right now, cause I’d rather see a person with a natural mind and processed head than a processed mind and natural head. I always feel like I’m a spiritual being first, a human being second, man or woman third, Black, White fourth. Nappy headed or whatever else anybody wanna call it, ‘good hair’, that’s last on my list. And it may be a result of not altering myself.
C: You don’t seem to be a person that’s influenced at all by anyone but yourself. Has that been constant through childhood or is that something you’ve been cultivating?
EB: Somewhat through childhood. But I’ve always been a non-conformists. I don’t know why, it’s just the way they made me whoever “they” be. But the confidence does develop over time like any other muscle, so yeah.  Being natural is really fresh but every once in the while, super natural!
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She is, indeed, a supernatural.
Conducted November 23, 2011
African Pride's

African Pride’s “A Mother’s Love” was swanky as a mother. Haha.

    African Pride sure knows how to treat a lady. Especially one whose mothered children.   On May 17, 2013, I entered into the Art Revolution, a lofty art gallery on Chicago’s lower west side, not knowing exactly what to expect. I checked in as media, stepped onto the elevator, hit the number 2 […]

Cause the Booty Don't Lie!

Cause the Booty Don’t Lie!

Janelle Monae AND Erykah Badu on the same track? How did we get so lucky????

My sister and I have been fans of Janelle Monae since she was still an indie artist, and we’ve loved Erykah Badu since FOREVER. Not only is she an amazing artist, but a lovely personality as we learned when she allowed us to interview her in 2011. Fans of both are in for a real treat; these two super naturals have teamed up on an awesome new track! Afros and lyrical wisdom are EVERYWHERE in this video, you literately HAVE to check it out below.

 

Kinky

Kinky

You can stop calling it “curly” now. We know the truth. And it’s ok.

The REAL Black History

The REAL Black History

Once a year for 28 days (and 29 on Leap year) , African Americans come together to rehash the past 400 years–the treacherous Middle Passage, the horrors of slavery and the struggles of the civil rights movement. While these things display the strength, resilience and determination of the African race it still paints them as something of […]